Presentation Horrors: Don't Do These Things

Ian Lurie

I’ve done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I’ve pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying ‘ultimate’ slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same presentation again, with annotations explaining where I goofed and how to avoid it.

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Great reminders. I confess guilty of most of them!
    I have one more for this presentation in particular:
    If you’re going to put the deck in SlideShare, don’t put the comments box on the top-right corner of the slides, since the Share image that SlideShare adds to the deck will be right on top of the notes text making it hard to read 😉

  2. This actually made me laugh out loud! I love the slide about rushing through a presentation when you realise that you are running out of time. I have been to so many of those and the listeners just drift off. The stock images is another thing that you don’t need to see. If you want to show your company at work, show your company, not a stock photo.

  3. Very clever post! I guess the message is don’t over self promote! Something I’ve learned is not to memorise your presentation, instead memorise the structure of your presentation. That way more information you didn’t realise you had in your head can come out just when you need it the most.

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